Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast television programmes then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

TV Licensing on BBC Radio Oxford

TV Licensing PR harlot Martin Dyan has been peddling his immoral wares to the good people of Oxfordshire.

Dyan, who is employed by TV Licensing PR contractor Fishburn, was interviewed as part of BBC Radio Oxford's Kat Orman show on Monday, 23rd March 2015.

Thankfully it was a brief exchange, unlike the nauseating hour of airtime BBC Tees afforded his gappy-toothed northern counterpart Matt Thompson a few weeks ago.

Orman's interaction with Dyan began at about 11:15 am.

A transcript of the segment appears below:
Kat Orman: Now do you know what the TV licence funds? It obviously gives funds for the TV, but what about radio? And does it count for online?

What about those learning materials that we use to help our children revise for GCSEs? Does it fund me? Who knows?

Well, Martin Dyan does. He's from the TV Licensing company and joins me right now in the studio. Welcome to the show.

Martin Dyan (MD): Thanks very much for having me on.

KO: So Martin, what does it actually fund?

MD: So, the TV licence effectively is what provides all the value of what we're listening to on the radio and what we're watching on TV.

I think the key thing to note is that if you're watching live TV - on any (device) at all, whether it's a laptop or a mobile phone - you need a TV licence.

KO: Do I need to have one if I'm watching on my mobile?

MD: Yes, absolutely - mobile too. In fact we're seeing an increase in technology nowadays. More and more people are watching on their mobile phones. So yeah, if you're watching live TV on your mobile phone - you can be covered by your home licence, but you still need the licence.

KO: So what kind of myths are there? Can we thrash some myths out?

MD: Absolutely, yeah.

KO: So what kinds of myths is there around the licence fee? Let's sort of bring them up and get rid of them.

MD: Sure, no. No problem with that at all.

A lot of people think that if they're watching live TV and they're getting it through - if they're not just watching BBC for example, and they're watching some other channel - then they don't need a TV licence. Well the reality is that you do need a TV licence for that too.

Another one is that some people say "I watch live TV, but for the majority of the time I only watch catch-up TV". Interestingly enough I think the figure is actually - the most recent figure is that only 2% of the entire population only watch catch-up TV. Now if you only watch catch-up TV you can actually apply for a No Licence Needed on the website. But for the majority of people, that are actually watching live TV, they do need a TV licence.

KO: So who gets a concessionary price Martin?

MD: That's a good question. There are a number of concessions available. So, I suppose one of the key ones is for the over 75s.

So, if you're approaching your 75th birthday - you're 74 - you can apply for a short-term licence and that means you effectively get a refund on your licence. As soon as you hit 75 you get a free licence and that lasts for 3 years and then you'll have to renew it after that.

Another thing to know is that if you live with someone who is over 75 as well, you don't need to pay for a separate licence. So you can actually live with someone who's over 75 - your Mum, your Dad, your grandparents - you don't need to pay for it, as long as they claim for it - a free TV licence.

KO: So much is it then Martin?

MD: So a TV licence is £145.50. But another concession that's available - and that allows for a 50% reduction - is actually if you're severely sight impaired. And that means that there's a concession available for people that can't necessarily watch it clearly. And also another one actually for residential care too, which is actually a bit of a nominal token fee of £7.50.

KO: So £145.50. Let's break that down, because that's the equivalent of £12.13 per month or 40 pence a day.

MD: Correct, yeah.

KO: What happens if you do not have a licence Martin?

MD: So, one of the reasons why I'm here and one of the reasons we try to raise awareness is to help people pay, because some people do struggle to pay for it. If you don't pay for a TV licence you could risk a fine of up to £1,000 or even prosecution, so ideally we want to try and help people avoid that.

KO: Is there a demographic of people who sort of fall into a the bracket that don't pay? I mean younger people? You know? Or is it just across the board?

MD: There isn't really an assessed demographic of people. The evasion rate is about... across the UK the evasion rate is about 5%. There isn't a specific demographic, specific age group, or set of people that do and don't pay for their licence. The honest majority, as we like to call them, do pay for it - but you do get those that don't, and they can risk a fine.

KO: Okay. So little checklist then. And it's important of course to renew it all the time. You have to make sure that you know when it runs out.

MD: Absolutely. Well you can pay - and most of the people, I'd say over 70% of people pay by Direct Debit. It's a lot easier to pay by Direct Debit, because you don't need to worry about it - it comes straight out of your account. You can pay in monthly instalments. But also for those people who might find it a bit more difficult to pay, they can pay weekly too - so it actually helps them. You can go to a PayPoint and there's a PayPoint card as well. And we work with a lot of money advice services and CABs as well, to help people who struggle with payment too.

KO: What about the best excuses for people not paying? Have you got any stories Martin?

MD: We have some quite fantastic excuses that come through. Some that are absolutely amazing.

I'll give you a couple of them. And these are actually genuine, so these come from people who have spoken to Enquiry Officers for example who want to check, or when people kid of get letters for example and they provide us with these excuses.

One of them that we had recently was that they use their TV as a decorative piece in the house. That is was purely for shelving, because they liked to show people when they're in the flat.

Another one was, someone believed that they only had it as entertainment for their dog, because the dog liked to watch TV and not them.

These are genuine excuses.

KO: Wonderful. Thank you very much to Martin Dyan for joining us from the TV Licensing company.
Apologies to anyone finding errors in the transcript, but Dyan is a lot more hesitant and less proficient at delivering TV Licensing tripe than some of his peers.

It is notable that aircraft blonde Orman seems blissfully unaware of the fact that TV Licensing is not a company, but rather a bastard offshoot of the BBC. Dyan did little to clarify her misconception, completely ignoring the fact that the BBC is legally responsible for the administration and enforcement of the TV licence fee.

Also of note is Dyan's bullshit about there not being a specific demographic of people caught evading the TV licence fee. Official government statistics make it quite clear that the overwhelming majority of those convicted are female and socially-disadvantaged. Dyan would have known that statistic, but chose instead to deny any knowledge. Maybe he was trying to save TV Licensing face? Perhaps he was trying to avoid any awkward follow-up questions?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

BBC Axes Jeremy Clarkson

The Director General of the BBC, Lord (Tony) Hall of Birkenhead, today announced that the Corporation would not be renewing the contract of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

Clarkson, who had fronted the popular BBC Two motoring show since 2002, was suspended a fortnight ago following allegations that he had thumped and verbally abused producer Oisin Tymon. You can read more about the incident in our earlier article.

Ken McQuarrie, the Director of BBC Scotland, was appointed to lead the Corporation's internal investigation into Clarkson's conduct. To that end Mr McQuarrie conducted a series of interviews with witnesses and others connected with the incident, including both Clarkson and Tymon.

The BBC has released a document summarising the key findings and conclusions of Mr McQuarrie's investigation.

He concludes: "On 4th March 2015 Oisin Tymon was subject to an unprovoked physical and verbal attack by Jeremy Clarkson.

"During the physical attack Oisin Tymon was struck, resulting in a swelling and bleeding to his lip.

"The verbal abuse was sustained over a longer period, both at the time of the physical attack and subsequently."

Drilling down into the finer detail of Mr McQuarrie's report, he notes the following facts:
  • On 4th March studio recording of Top Gear had taken place in Surrey and the presenters had travelled that same evening to a location shoot in North Yorkshire.
  • The incident occurred on a patio area of the Simonstone Hall Hotel, where Oisin Tymon was working on location for Top Gear.
  • The physical attack lasted around 30 seconds and was halted by the intervention of a witness.
  • It is the case that Oisin Tymon offered no retaliation.
  • The verbal abuse was directed at Oisin Tymon on more than one occasion - both during the physical attack and subsequently in the hotel - and contained the strongest expletives and threats to sack him. The abuse was at such volume as to be heard in the dining room, and the shouting was audible in a hotel bedroom.
  • Derogatory and abusive language, relating to Oisin Tymon and other members of the Top Gear team, continued to be used by Jeremy Clarkson inside the hotel, in the presence of others, for a sustained period of time.
  • It is clear that Oisin Tymon was shocked and distressed by the attack, and believed that he had lost his job.
  • Following the attack, it is understood that Oisin Tymon drove to a nearby A&E department for examination.
  • Over subsequent days, Jeremy Clarkson made a number of attempts to apologise to Oisin Tymon by way of text, email and in person.
  • It is the case that Jeremy Clarkson reported the incident to BBC management.

Lord Hall said: "It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract.

"It is not a decision I have taken lightly. I have done so only after a very careful consideration of the facts and after personally meeting both Jeremy and Oisin Tymon.

"I am grateful to Ken MacQuarrie for the thorough way he has conducted an investigation of the incident on 4th March.

"Given the obvious and very genuine public interest in this I am publishing the findings of his report. I take no pleasure in doing so. I am only making them public so people can better understand the background.

"I know how popular the programme is and I also know that this decision will divide opinion. The main facts are not disputed by those involved."